Malayan emergency + more things

4 minutes estimated reading time

Psychological Warfare of the Malayan Emergency – interesting read; I wonder what C.C. Too would have made of the Leave and Remain campaigns? It is amazing how much of things in the UK goes back to Borneo and the Malayan emergency. The COIN strategies that were successful in the Malayan emergency were applied time and time again

Reliance Jio has become the world leader in feature phones in just 10 months — Quartz – The strong growth in Jio, clubbed with the return of the Nokia brand, has helped the global feature phone market grow 38% year-on-year in January-March 2018, Counterpoint said. India contributed to nearly 43% of all feature phone sales during the first three months of 2018.

Highlights from CCS Insight’s Predictions – Manufacturers’ vision for smart TVs fails. Despite their efforts to introduce apps and smart features, makers of smart TVs have failed to convince customers, who still use them as “dumb” screens. They buy TVs mainly based on design and picture quality, viewing the smartness only as a by-product. – More consumer behaviour related content here.

The Bill Gates Line – Stratechery by Ben Thompson – interesting essay on the nature of monopoly power, platforms and aggregators

Microsoft and Publicis unveil Marcel, an AI-based productivity platform for the ad giant | TechCrunch – interesting narrow expert apps rather than a general intelligence

Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 710 platform in mobile AI, neural networking push | ZDNet – further enhancing neural networks on smartphones

New Sony CEO to Detail Shift Away From Gadgets in Mid-Term Plan – Bloomberg – huge implication for innovation though

US-China tech wars threaten global sector disruption | FT – strikes at the heart of China’s ambitions and is likely to curb revenues as well as disrupt supply chains at foreign multinationals, many of which see the country as a key market. But it is also prompting a rethink at the corporate level in China, with tech companies looking to develop their own chips (pay wall)

Is Douyin the Right Social Video Platform for Luxury Brands? | Jing Daily – Douyin insider Fabian Bern shared that 85 percent of the app’s users are under 24 years old, over 70 percent are female, and the majority are from upper class families living in first tier cities

Social credit system must bankrupt discredited people: former official – Global Times – China’s social credit system had blocked more than 11.14 million flights and 4.25 million high-speed train trips by the end of April.

An improved social credit system was needed so that “discredited people become bankrupt,” Hou Yunchun, former deputy director of the development research center of the State Council

Opinion | What the Microsoft Antitrust Case Taught Us – The New York Times – interesting how what would have isolated sporadic criticism of the big four internet giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now morphing into criticism and calls for remedy on a regular basis. Behavioural change from a marketing perspective is usually driven by reach and repetition. It feels like the ground is being prepared for legislation or a court challenge a few years from now

A look back: The Bloomberg Keyboard | Bloomberg Professional Services – really interesting evolution of design

The surprising return of the repo man – The Washington Post – “So much of America is just a heartbeat away from a repossession — even good people, decent people who aren’t deadbeats,” said Patrick Altes, a veteran agent in Daytona Beach, Fla. “It seems like a different environment than it’s ever been.”

How Judea Pearl Became One of AI’s Sharpest Critics – The Atlantic – Three decades ago, a prime challenge in artificial-intelligence research was to program machines to associate a potential cause to a set of observable conditions. Pearl figured out how to do that using a scheme called Bayesian networks. Bayesian networks made it practical for machines to say that, given a patient who returned from Africa with a fever and body aches, the most likely explanation was malaria. In 2011 Pearl won the Turing Award, computer science’s highest honor, in large part for this work.

But as Pearl sees it, the field of AI got mired in probabilistic associations. These days, headlines tout the latest breakthroughs in machine learning and neural networks. We read about computers that can master ancient games and drive cars. Pearl is underwhelmed. As he sees it, the state of the art in artificial intelligence today is merely a souped-up version of what machines could already do a generation ago: find hidden regularities in a large set of data. “All the impressive achievements of deep learning amount to just curve fitting,” he said recently.